Opening ceremonies

The Beijing Times has revealed that the footprint fireworks sequence for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, was computer generated and inserted into the coverage too look like the real thing. Beijing’s hazy night skies and camera shake as though it was filmed from a helicopter was even added to the sequence to make it look more authentic.

The 29 footprints were lit at one footprint per second, with 29 of them marching from Tiananmen Square to the Birds Nest stadium. They were supposed to symbolize the path of the 29th Olympiad and their arrival to Beijing.

The faked fireworks were actually set-off at the stadium, but because of potential dangers in filming the display live from a helicopter, viewers at home were shown a pre-recorded, computer-generated shot.

The head of the visual effects department for the opening ceremony said that since everyone thought it was filmed live, he couldn’t see a problem with it.

Perhaps it’s no worse than the facial hair on some of the women athletes.

  1. ZZ says:

    I thought it can be done with show controls and remote controlled firework explosions, but I was wondering where they could place those fireworks platforms in the city. At that point I decided it was fake, then, there would’ve been about million complaints on the net anyway.

  2. hhopper says:

    I heard them say that the fireworks in the helicopter sequence were animated and “almost a cartoon.”

  3. ECA says:

    why should i complain..
    It wasnt REAL..
    It had NO affect on me, or THOSE who saw it in REAL TIME..
    I was HOPING we had this much control to make a GREAt fireworks show… but NOW i know they DONT..

  4. B. Dog says:

    It bothers me because the NBC commentators kept emphasizing the fact that the Olympic games are a huge milestone in Chinese history. It’s a news story. When the New World Order Spokesmodels slide computer enhancements in to make China even better than they say it is, well that is B.S.

  5. Buzz says:

    This reminds me of the time we had fake Moon landing video ready to go just in case. Never needed it, of course, but you can’t be too careful.

  6. @25 – Mr. Dog

    The Olympic games are a huge milestone in the snookering of the rest of the world.

    The fact that much of the world actually believes that China is anything more than a 1400′s-era child-labor sweatshop pollution mill, pumping out tainted products, is a testimony to the infallible stupidity of the human race.

  7. jbella says:

    One important point is that the fireworks were not faked. The fireworks actually happened. The footage of the fireworks were “faked” because it would be dangerous and nearly impossible to get a good shot of the actual fireworks going off.

    China is not a model nation, but neither are they simply a backward “1400 era child labor sweathshop pollution mill.” They are an emerging economy and the only other super power on the planet. Dont forget that the united states was in much the same condition as early as the beginning of the 20th century.

  8. GregAllen says:

    I’m not a huge fan of the Chinese government but I have to give them credit for putting on a heck of a show.

    It was a pretty amazing ceremony to pull off, and I admire it all the more that they used real-time CGI.

  9. BubbaRay says:

    Apparently the fireworks weren’t the only thing that was “enhanced.”,5273.0.html

  10. clone4crw says:

    I was pretty skeptic of it at first. I’m not surprised. The chinese government is pretty desperate to raise their reputation. They’ve now screwed themselves over more.

    The same with that girl lip-syncing to that opening song.

    Can anyone explain why during the swimming, some of the athletes had the logos on their suits blacked out? I’m pretty suspicious of that, too,